For one of this month's prompts, Celeste is asking for a look into our children's commonplace books.
The children, in their different ways, are enjoying their keeping. And I enjoy seeing their face light up during a reading as they write down something they want to remember for later.
When I started keeping again, I explained the aspect of keeping to them. I had been a keeper in days past, but it was a somewhat of a new concept to them. And even though they had seen me jotting down quotes here and there, they needed to know the hows and whys of keeping.
After a thorough explanation, I bought each of the children a spiral notebook, and encouraged them to write in it - whatever strikes them from their readings, whether it's a Bible verse, poem, or something from one of their AO books, or even something from their free reads.
They were a little reluctant at first; it was new to them. But with a little encouragement, they took off with it. And are now enjoying it as much as I am.
So what do they write? Some of what they write is from their AO readings, and some is from other readings. And until the habit is established, I am requiring at least one entry per day
And how do they write? My children like variety, so I let them choose the type of pen/pencils they want to use. Some of them use pencils, and some use colored ink pens.And printing or cursive? It makes no matter to me.
And where do they write? Wherever they are reading...at the dining room table, on the couch, on their bed, etc.
And when do they write? Whenever they read, they have their commonplace book close by to write down the things that strike them the most from their readings.
Now, here's a peek into their commonplace books..
Natalie writes in hers several times aday - without being reminded. No surprise there - she loves to write; always has.
On this particular page, she jotted down quotes from John Adams, George Washington, Pericles, and John Bunyan (Pilgrim's Progress), from readings that she is doing in her free time.
Asher writes in his without being prodded, too. He, like Natalie, has always loved to write.
This page includes quotes from the books of Proverbs, Job, Psalms, and a quote from Socrates. Notice that the quote from Socrates is embellished. I like that. :)
Aaron needs occasional reminding to write in his, but that's ok with me. When he does write in it, his entries are wonderful.
On this page, Aaron wrote from the books of Acts, Psalms, Job, and he also jotted down quotes from Archimedes, and a poem by Carl Sandburg. As you can see, Aaron uses the colored ink when writing his entries.
And Ian has taken off with his keeping. I often hear him say (under his breath) while he is reading one of his AO books, "Ahh....this quote is going in my commonplace!" And that makes me smile. :)
This page includes some quotes from Thomas Paine, Winston Churchill, Samuel Johnson, Oliver Cromwell, and poet William Cowper.
Naomi, at age 7, is still a little young for a commonplace book, but she sees her older siblings writing in theirs and has a little notebook she occasionally writes in.
I have noticed that keeping really does help my children remember. It makes them think, too, and I love hearing their thoughts about the person they wrote about. We often discuss the authors and their quotes; it makes for wonderful discussion.
"It is very helpful to read with a commonplace book or reading-diary, in which to put down any striking thought in your author, or your own impression of the work, or of any part of it; but not summaries of facts. Such a diary, carefully kept through life, should be exceedingly interesting as containing the intellectual history of the writer; besides, we never forget the book that we have made extracts from, and of which we have taken the trouble to write a short review." -Charlotte Mason